A Pair Of Not So Recent Clean Feeds
With many more to come (…). This makes me think that roundup reviews are not so useful after all. In the future I won’t wait for publishing a write-up until having listened eight CDs of the same label. It’s probably better to break them in smaller groups, or it could take years…
TRINITY – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
A Norwegian quartet mingling dissimilar influences – jazz, space rock, harsh electronica – through predominantly jarring procedures that could appear scarcely lucid on a first try, but instead let slip a substantial degree of imagination. Ultimately, and most important, Trinity don’t sound like anything else (at least in the Clean Feed catalogue). All the four members have gone through the most disparate kind of collaboration: Jaga Jazzist to Mats Gustafsson, Raoul Bjorkenheim to Nate Wooley, the leader – saxophonist and clarinettist Kjetil Møster – a metal rock bassist in his past, before switching to reeds. Implausible yet efficient solutions abound, powerful sax blasts juxtaposed with half-ethereal, half-acrid atonal keyboard fluids (Morten Qvenild) that possess the rare gift of not sounding like an amassment of presets. The “rhythm section” – bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Thomas Strønen – is in actuality half of a palette where abstraction, violence, rituality and persuasive soloing succeed, seemingly in lack of a definite compositional planning. The complete nonexistence of ambassadorial accents and inconclusively politic neutrality typical of a fat chunk of contemporary jazz brings the whole to an acceptable balance, though. After a couple of spins one realizes that these bizarre sonic concoctions cannot be filed in the archive of banality, despite the difficulty of welcoming them with real infatuation. In any case Trinity deserve attention, if only for their different sound and explorative curiosity.
HERCULANEUM – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
Given the presence of a flute (Nate Lepine) and the album title, one would think about Focus. But this record is more like a finely detailed replica of certain past atmospheres involving medium-sized jazz combos and larger orchestral entities, the music skilfully devised in absolute respect for the tradition, lush arrangements and extensive solo sections alternated with sapience and sensitiveness. The large part of the tracks were written by drummer and vibraphonist Dylan Ryan, which might appear as an oddity but it’s not, the music possessing indeed an effervescent pulse that animates scores where, in some circumstances, the tremendous contrapuntal richness might induce someone to think to relative sluggishness. In that sense, David Mcdonnell (alto sax, clarinet), Nick Broste (trombone) and Patrick Newbery (trumpet and flugelhorn) provide a significant miscellany of non-invasive colloquialism and management of virtuosity, gratifying the ears with a melange of piquancy and obedience. Guitarist John Beard’s clean-toned rationality and bassist Greg Danek’s solidly corpulent presence complete an ensemble that consider revolution a dated concept while trying to revolutionize behind-the-times music. One can’t help but admit that listening to this attempt equals a lovely chat with a beautifully aged woman; even lovers of Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo could find something palatable here. Good stuff.
Posted in CD's, reviews
Tagged David McDonnell, Dylan Ryan, Greg Danek, Herculaneum, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, John Beard, Kjetil Møster, Morten Qvenild, Nate Lepine, Nick Broste, Patrick Newbery, Thomas Strønen, Trinity
Michael Blake / Kresten osgood – Control this (CF 136)
Trinity – Breaking the Molde (CF 139)
Check out these veterans of the diverse Alternative/Hardcore/Free Jazz scenes as they place two very different but equally engaging platters in Clean Feed’s ever-increasing catalog. The duo disc (1) comes courtesy of tenor saxophonist Michael Blake, whose alto work as heard here is new to me. His tenure with the fabled Lounge Lizards afforded him lightning-fast reflexes, and these are on display throughout these improvisations. Kresten Osgood is every bit his equal, stopping over and over on the proverbial dime Danilo Perez by Jimmie Jones seemingly with no path left behind him. The title track distills all that is best about the collaboration. Blake lays down some motivic
pointillisms, spitting forth multiphonic bursts along the way. Osgood picks up immediately on an almost hidden military vibe, rendering it apparent with some quasi-cadences. The veteran partners man-age to hold it all together as they dabble in Funk, new thing and Bebop tropes, often breathing as one musician. At other points on the disc, Osgood’s tuned drumming conjures the beautifully scorching Flaherty/Edwards duos on Cadence Jazz Records as a bassist becomes superfluous. Their sense of history is manifest in an unusual way as they glide through a version of the late 1920’s Ellington classic, “Creole Love Call,” which begins every bit as slinkily as the original before blasting into the stratosphere.
Trinity’s contribution (2) brings volume and raises the density factor considerably. When the quartet is in high gear, as they are from the first moments of this widely diverse disc, they’re in Ayler/Taylor/Trane mode, Moster even invoking Meditations with his shofar blasts. The second track finds the aggregate in entirely different territory, soft shards of electronic sound riddled with percussive puncture wounds and long-breathed multiphonics. All seems to be leading up to the final epic improvisation, enthralling in its sudden shifts in tempo, intensity, and non-conventional timbre. These discs are definitely for lovers of adventurous music, who will be rewarded with each listen.
©Cadence Magazine 2009 www.cadencebuilding.com
TRINITY – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
Ausbruch aus fixen Formen mit Spielfreude und Witz. Die skandinavische Jazzszene steht bei uns hoch im Kurs, doch meistens wegen den romantisierenden Produktionen, welche das Klischee vom „coolen“ Norden bestätigen. Aehnlich wie etwa Supersilent markiert Trinity aber die eruptiv-intuitive Gegenseite. Bei noch uns ebenso unbekannt, leitet Møster in der Region Oslo eine Reihe von Bands. Er startete als muskulöser Rockbassist bevor er sein Idol Coltrane entdeckte. Beide Seiten inspirieren die eher dichten, kantigen Soundbilder dieses Quartetts, die dann im monumentalen vierten Set auch in kahle weite Traumlandschaften abtauchen. Manche der freien kollektiven Erfindungen erinnern an den späten Coltrane, Ayler und Rashied Ali, manche sind elektronische Musik jenseits von Sun Ra. Der Keyboarder Qvenild (Ex-Jaga Jazzist) benutzt intensiv live-elektronischen Verfremdungen mit Ringmodulator und Pedalen und mischt sich auch mit den ekstatischsten Saxofonsounds, und auch die Kollegen Flaten (Mats Gustafsson, Raoul Björkenheim) und Strønen sind voll dabei. Das Sound- und Energiespiel des Free Jazz ist nicht passé, aber es wird hier relativiert und potenziert mit verschiedenen Zeit- oder Rhythmusebenen. Entweder geht man mit auf die schamanistische Reise – oder man wird abgeworfen.